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Egypt presidential elections – update by the Seychelles former President Mancham from Cairo

Egypt presidential elections – update by the Seychelles former President Mancham from Cairo ( It is announced from Cairo that the former President of Seychelles, Mr. James Richard Mancham, who has been invited by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr. Jean Ping, to witness the presidential elections, which will take place in the Arab Republic of Egypt, on May 23-24, 2012, was yesterday involved in a series of important meetings, organized by the AU Permanent Delegation to the League of Arab States in Cairo, in association with the current Egyptian authorities.

The Seychelles former President Mancham, is being assisted in this mission by Ms. Shumbana Karume, Head of Democracy and Elections Assistant Unit of the African Union Political Affairs Department, based in Addis Ababa, and Mr. Conrad Mederic, who is serving in the Office of Principal Counselor in the Seychelles High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa.

These presidential elections in Egypt will be the first endeavor for the Egyptian people to elect their own head of state. Historically, Egypt was ruled by monarchies until Mr. Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew the government of King Farouk to become President of Egypt. Since President Nasser, there has been a list of other presidents who were not directly elected by the people and were prominent personalities with a military background.

Following the assassination of President Sadat, Mr. Hosny Mubarak assumed the presidency and ruled the country for over 30 years uninterrupted. Increasing national disenchantment with the Mubarak regime motivated the revolution of 2011 and a call for democratic government and the leadership of a directly-elected president.

Yesterday’s schedule of former President Mancham, included a briefing from the Permanent Delegation of the AU to the League of Arab States, under the leadership of the Libyan Ambassador Muftah Zawam and other representatives of the AU based in Cairo. This was followed by briefings by representatives of the Committee of the Elders of COMESA, led by Ambassador Soad Shalaby, and discussions were later held with Dr. Amani El Tawil of the Al Arham Center for Political and Strategic Studies. Perhaps the most important meeting of the day was with the current Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, HE Mr. Mohamed Kamel Amr, at the Minister’s Office where he was assisted by a selection of personalities associated with the coming elections.

Today’s schedule of engagements include projects meetings with HE Dr. Mohamed Fayek, Acting President of the National Council for Human Rights of Egypt, and different meetings with international observer groups invited to observe the elections. In this context, the former President and his entourage are expected to meet former US President Mr. Jimmy Carter and his delegation representing the Carter Center; the former President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr. Cassam Uteem, who is leading the delegation of the African-based organization (EISA); and the representatives of the League of Arab States. Meetings will also be held with the High Presidential Elections Committee, as well as the UN Mission Election Team.

The election starts early on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 and will close late on Thursday, May 24, 2012 in the evening. During that period, the former President and his group have been officially authorized to visit any polling station of their choice and witness the elections in progress.

It is to be noted that a second round of elections will take place on June 16 and 17, 2012, in the event that there is no outright winner in this first round.

In a statement issued from his hotel in Cairo, former President Mancham said: “Egypt appears to be going through a period of calm and serious reflections. In Cairo, there is an atmosphere of great serenity as the people in the capital make [up] their minds for whom to vote. Whilst there are about 13 presidential candidates, it appears from the polls so far conducted, that there are only 4 to 5 serious contenders for [the] presidential office. They are Mr. Amr Moussa, Independent Candidate and formerly Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt and Former Secretary General of League of Arab States; Dr. Abdel Moneim Abou El Fotouh, Independent Candidate; Mr. Hamdien Sabahy, Independent Candidate; Mohemed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party; and Mr. Ahmed Shafik, Independent Candidate. There have been a series of televised debates on the television and radio networks concerning the policies of the different contenders. My delegation and myself consider ourselves privileged to have the opportunity to witness this vital development in the search of the people of Egypt for democratic changes and good leadership governance.”


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